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No Bear Market or Credit Crunch Here

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Monday, September 10, 2007

– A 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card just sold this month for $2.8 million. If that's not astounding enough... the seller bought it just six months ago for $2.35 million.

– A few months ago, I was in New York representing Stanley Gibbons at Bill Gross' auction of British stamps. This stamp auction was estimated to bring in $4 million. Instead it brought in more than $10 million, when you count the commissions.

- The Liv-Ex 100 Index of fine wines has more than doubled just since the beginning of last year. My point is simple...

While just about every type of investment has struggled this year, high-end collectibles – little-talked-about places to put your money – have soared in value.

Some analysts were expecting high-end collectibles would cool in price. The thinking went something like this: The appetites of the "new rich" – the hedge fund managers flush with cash – would cool as the investment markets have cooled. But it hasn't been the case.

Buyers of high-end collectibles are generally pretty darn rich. They don't borrow money to buy them. They pay cash. And they don't need the money – they don't need to liquidate them.

With no borrowing and no need to liquidate, there's rarely a "fire sale" on the finest stuff.

"That's how the high-end collectibles market always operates," says Van Simmons, a legend in the collectibles world.

Years ago, Van taught me that when it comes to collectibles, "you always want to own the beachfront property." I'm sure glad I listened. It's paid off handsomely for me.

On this only-buy-beachfront idea... I talked with a few realtors yesterday who sell homes on the east coast of Florida. They told me that the market for "cookie-cutter, three-bedroom, two-bath homes is dead. But houses on the ocean don't have a problem selling."

In short, you always want to buy absolutely the best things you can afford. For example, instead of having three dozen average rare coins, it's better to own three really fantastic ones.

I talked to Van yesterday. He was in Las Vegas at a coin show. "Normally there are only a few dealers at this show. But this year there were more dealers looking for great stuff than there was great stuff available. As an example, just six weeks ago, I was selling a $10 Indian gold coin for $5,400. Today, they're at $6,800. Once the supply disappears, which seems to be happening, this stuff can jump."

Van is my go-to guy in the coin world. And rare coins are one of the best values in the collectibles world (that's saying it politely... they've gone up the least). I particularly like gold coins, as the price of gold has risen more than the price of gold coins (If you're looking for a great guide in the coins and collectibles markets, talk to Van 800-759-7575 or [email protected]).

You also have a way to have your cake and eat it too... It's a way to buy high-end collectibles with basically no downside risk. In essence, you buy your high-end collectible and stick the downside risk with the dealer. If it goes up in value, you make money. And if it goes down in value, you actually make money too.

Visit: and click on "Our Products" and then "Minimum Return" to learn more. Or you can call Adrian Roose directly. From the U.S., it's 011-44-14-8170-8277 or e-mail: [email protected] (Note: I am on the board of directors of Stanley Gibbons.)

There's no bear market or credit crunch in high-end collectibles. At the highest end of the market, demand always outstrips supply. There are more rich people every year, and the good stuff keeps coming off the market.

With the Stanley Gibbons idea, you can buy with no downside risk. And with Van Simmons, you have the best guide possible. If you're going to diversify, these guys are the way to do it...

Good investing,


Market Notes


Mosaic (MOS)... agriculture boom
Deere & Co. (DE)... agriculture boom
Monsanto (MON)... agriculture boom
Nokia (NOK)... telecom boom
China Mobile (CHL)... telecom boom
Schlumberger (SLB)... oil-services boom
Smith International (SII)... oil-services boom
National Oilwell Varco (NOV)... oil-services boom
Weatherford International (WFT)... oil-services boom
PowerShares China (PGJ)... Chinese stocks
iShares Hong Kong (EWH)... Chinese stocks
Greater China Fund (GCH)... Chinese stocks
streetTRACKS Gold (GLD)... gold ETF
Wheat, Propane, and mortgage foreclosures


Centex (CTX)... homebuilder
Pulte Homes (PHM)... homebuilder
D.R. Horton (DHI)... homebuilder
Legg Mason (LM)... asset manager
Dillard's (DDS)... department store
Kohl's (KSS)... department store
Brunswick (BS)... boats
Winnebago (WGO)... RVs
Arctic Cat (ACAT)... snowmobiles
Harley-Davidson (HOG)... motorcycles
Are folks are buying fewer toys?
Wal-Mart (WMT)... world's largest private employer
Ethanol, Lumber, Aluminum, Zinc, and Orange Juice

-Brian Hunt

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